This is not a blog
I don't do the blog thing. You either need to do it regularly and to an entertaining standard (like Jigsaw Pig) or not at all. I choose not at all. This page just holds news, thoughts and snippets of information that don't deserve their own page on the website.
29/06/07 - Adverts on this website!
I've done a bit of fiddling with the website today, including adding random photos to the front page of the photos site. Google scans my main site every 3 or 4 days, but the photos site sometimes goes 2 months without being scanned. Hopefully a constantly changing front page will make it think the site should be scanned more often.
While I was at it I added Google Ads code to the libraries so I can quickly add Google Ads to any page I want to. So far this not-a-blog page is the only one with ads on it, and I don't intend to decorate the site with them. The only reason I put them up was because I noticed spikes on some pages when I posted links to photos to the rec.photo.digital newsgroup. 50 hits on a single photo is worth collecting Ad revenue from, and since I had the Adsense account as part of Core Minutes anyway I thought I'd do it. Apologies to those who are offended by adverts. I always surf with them turned off myself... :)
29/05/07- Core Minutes Goes Live
Back from holiday and fresh out of excuses for further procrastination, our project website has had the passwords taken down. Core Minutes is now live, both as a website and as a business.
13/04/2007- Aussie Holiday
Most people who read this site will already know this, but in case it missed anyone: Tina and I are off to Australia next week for a holiday. We'll be gone for the rest of April and May, returning for the UK summer (just as it gets wet and cold in Perth).
31/12/2006- Google Puzzlement
I thought I'd have a tinker with the Google Webmaster tools and see how Google indexes this site. Interestingly, as of a few days ago, Google had record of a few dead links, and sure enough, given enough grepping, I found a page with dead links on it. I thought the page was unused, but more grepping revealed that the page in question was linked from another page. I thought that page was unused too, but yet more grepping showed it was still linked from an active page on the website (one which described an old version of some obsolete software I wrote). Definitely a lesson learnt there then, not least about the usefulness of the Googlebot.
What's puzzling, though, is that although I cleared those problems up a few days ago, and the Googlebot has revisited my site since, the Google webmaster pages still show a whole bunch of other broken links. These seem to be from an old index page which was on the site before I opened up the photos.derekfountain.org sub-site. Much grepping later I conclude that there are no such links still on my site so they must have come from outside. No one links to my site (fat chance) so the only explanation I can see is that Google has some form of index stored somewhere where it must crawl links from. If that's the case, that index must be very out of date. This doesn't seem likely to me, so I resort to bafflement. If anyone finds any dead links on my site can you let me know? Ta...
23/12/2006- New Beginnings
Yesterday was my last day working for the Java Technology Centre at IBM's Hursley Lab. I enjoyed this contract and learnt a great deal about Java and realtime technologies. As always with IBM, they were great products and great people. I'm more than a little sad to be leaving them.
On the other hand, this presents a really good opportunity for Tina and I. We've had a business plan under development for over 2 years now - something we thought of while still in Australia. Now I have a period of time where I can develop some of the ideas into a product which people might actually buy. So for the next few months at least, that's the plan: working from home on a web application. What actually is it? All will be revealed in due course.
I also get the chance to play a bit more. The IBM work has been pretty draining, which is mostly my own fault for not taking a holiday for 18 months. I've been pretty burnt out for the last few months, and have let my photography and other hobbies slip. I'm aware that this website hasn't been updated since the summer, and that will change now I have more time and more mental energy to put into it.
26/08/2006- Not heading back to Australia
It turns out we're not heading back to Australia after all. I cancelled the tickets a few days ago. My contract got renewed until Christmas and Tina seems happier at the idea of staying put in the UK a while longer. Plus, property prices in Australia have gone bananas so we need to save up a significant amount more money before we can consider going back to buy a house.
The property price thing has given us something of a problem with Perth. It's now the second most expensive city in Australia after Sydney, and given the complete dearth of IT jobs there, it's hard to see how we can justify going back. Perth is now "expensive" in the same way that London is expensive and Sydney is expensive, and it's a city I can't earn a decent living in. Perhaps we need to consider our options a bit. Or hope for a housing market crash in Western Australia.
13/05/2006- Photos Overhaul
The Perl script I wrote and used to present photos on this website has been looking a little feeble over the last few months. Faced with hundreds of photos, its lack of flexibility has become a problem. So I spent a few days researching and working with a new solution - JAlbum. I've created a new JAlbum-based website - http://photos.derekfountain.org/ - to display my photos. I've moved all the old photos over to it, complete with comments, so nothing has been lost.
09/03/2006- Heading back to Australia
I booked our flights back to Australia today - we're leaving on September 3rd. I got a contract extension with IBM which takes me up to the 31st of August, and Tina and I decided that would have to do. We want to get on with the rest of our lives, and that means getting back to Perth.
Mixed emotions, to a point. We both love Perth, and neither of us have any doubt that that's the place we want to be. But once again we're heading back to a place where I can't really get well paid work, and I'm having to drop the decent contract work that IBM have given me. It feels like my IT contract career is about to come to an end, and that we're about to launch into a financial abyss. Still, all the more reason to get our act together when we get back there, eh?
Just the issue of what exactly our act is to sort out... :o}
29/01/2006- House move
Time for a house move. We've been at the current place for over 6 months now, and Tina wants to go to a detached place to get away from the noisy neighbours. We move house tomorrow - the 30th January. Tina is pretty much doing all the grunt work herself. I'll be at work. :o) In theory the broadband and telephone will be moved tomorrow morning and we won't be off the 'net for more than a few hours. In practise we might disappear for a while...
31/12/2005- I'm no longer spam scanning
My spam count is now at around 200 per day, which is light by some standards, but pretty damn heavy by mine. I use Spam Assassin to filter it all out and it does a great job. It misses the odd one, but I haven't had a false positive for months.
Up until now I've been automatically moving all the spam to a separate folder and skimming through it every couple of days. Today I took the decision to stop doing that. It takes time and is rather tedious. From now on I'm trusting Spam Assassin to get it right - anything Spam Assassin drops into the spam bin disappears without me seeing it.
I've white listed everyone who normally sends me email, so this shouldn't present problems to anyone who contacts me regularly. If you've sent me something that I appear to have missed, it's only likely to have gone into my spam trap if you sent it as HTML email.
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